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More Than 1,000 Americans Killed By Police In 2016

| by Michael Allen

Police officers killed more than 1,000 Americans in the U.S., while over 100 cops died in the line of duty.

As of Dec. 30, police killed 1,058 Americans, according to The Counted, a project of The Guardian.

The U.S. government does not require local police to report killings, but The Counted gathered news reports of people killed by law enforcement.

When broken down by race, the most people killed by police in 2016 were Native Americans, followed by blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

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A study by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found that 135 cops died in the line of duty in 2016, TIME notes.

The NLEOMF's report said 64 cops were shot and killed; 21 happened in ambush-style attacks.

Fifty-three cops died in traffic-related incidents, 20 officers died in multiple-shooting death incidents and 18 from other causes; 11 of those were job-related illnesses such as heart attacks.

"We must never forget that 900,000 law enforcement officers nationwide risk their lives every day for our safety and protection," Craig Floyd, president and CEO of the NLEOMF, said in a statement. "This year, 135 of those men and women did not make it home to their families at the end of their shift."

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While conflicts were high between police and civilians in 2016, the long history of black Americans from slavery to present-day incarceration is the subject of filmmaker Ava DuVernay's recent Netflix documentary, "13th."

DuVernay told Democracy Now! that her film is named after the 13th Amendment:

[A] clause within the constitutional amendment, the 13th Amendment, that is supposed to abolish slavery, but it allows for an exception to that rule. And the exception is anyone that’s been deemed a criminal by the state.

DuVernay said her film shows the thru-line from past slavery to for-profit prisons in America:

[W]e’ve come to the point where we have 2.3 million people behind bars, not to mention the millions who are affected by incarceration and on parole and probation. And so, it’s really trying to kind of deconstruct the issue. When I first started working on it, I was focused primarily on the prison-industrial complex, profit around punishment.

But as I started to get into that and explore that, you really can’t talk about that issue without context and historical legacy, really understanding that when we speak of prison labor now and companies like Aramark and Corizon exploiting prisoners behind bars, that that relates to the Black Codes in the Reconstruction, and so, trying to kind of create this continuum so that we realize that history isn’t new, what we’re experiencing now isn’t new.

The film also includes clips of President-elect Donald Trump expressing his anger in 1989 about five African-American and Latino young men who were accused of raping and assaulting a female jogger in New York City's famous Central Park.

The five men, who were known as the "Central Park Five," were convicted and sent to jail, but later cleared and released. They got a multimillion-dollar settlement from New York City in June 2014, but Trump continues to insist they are guilty.

Sources: The Counted, TIME, Democracy Now! / Photo Credit: Spc. James McCann/Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

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